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Toni & Craig's Story

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Post  TLCLM Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:23 pm

I am sure our situation is similar to many out there but of course when it affects you directly it seems more urgent. The situation for my husband and myself is very hard for us as we have been in a relationship for so long but apart for a longtime now. We met in early 2004 and were married there in the UK in 2005. Myself and my two children from a previous relationship came to the UK in January 2005 on a fiancé visa. My husband and I were married in July 2005 and we lived in the UK for another year, so I have an expired residency permit and expired marriage visa. Myself and my two children came back to Canada in 2006 so I could go to university, my husband came to Canada a couple times.

The decision for us to come back to Canada was a hard one from the beginning but as my husband and I are both lower income we felt it would be the best decision for our family in the long term….. short term suffering for the long term benefits. We thought it would be period of three to four years at most. We arrived back in Canada in May 2006 and I didn’t start University until September 2006, and my husband joined us here in November 2006 and he stayed here for four months then went back to the UK. It took him almost a year to find work. Finally after two years he had managed to get all the required documents to get my husbands Canadian visa so my husband came over to Canada and we sent in his visa application in from here because we were tired of being apart and made the decision as a married couple to live off of my income only while we waited for his visa/work permit to be processed. After a year away from his family and especially his kids from a previous relationship, he was having a very hard time. Again we decided as a married couple that the best thing for our family was to be in the UK, he is very close with his parents and they are getting older and rely on him for help going shopping and getting things done around their home.

The decision for us to live in the UK is an easy one as I come from a very broken and abusive family and have been on my own away from my parents since the age of fifteen. I then got myself into a very abusive relationship for over thirteen years. The only good part of my life had been the two children I have from that abusive relationship, the love I received from my children is the only love I have ever had in my life….. until I met my husband. Craig is not just my husband, he is my best friend, he is my true life partner and he is really and truly the only family I have ever had in my life. Because of my husband I now have a wonderful future filled with friendship and love to look forward to. My husband is all I have in this world and the decisions we made as a couple we thought would benefit us in the long run. I am so completely devastated about these new immigration rules. My life right now seems hopeless and I just do not understand how the government is allowed to keep our family ripped apart. The only family I have are my children, my husband and my family in-law. I lead a very quiet and sheltered life here in Canada as I am also living in hiding from my children's father. He is a violent man that I had restraining orders from. He has lost his parental rights due to his threats and I live here in fear. I am scared and alone and kept away from my only family i have, the only people in this world that I love because of these new rules.

We may not have money in savings and my husband may make under the current threshold but if a married couple decides that they will sacrifice and cope until both of the partners are working, if that married couple decide that they can live off of the income that one partner makes that should be their decision not the governments. And if a person in the UK on a visa with “no recourse to public funds” stamped across their passport/visa cannot access public funding how does that make a difference to the government? Article 8 of the European Charter of Human Rights states that the government cannot interfere with a person’s right to have family, yet these rules do just that. How is this possible? I have also read that these new immigration rules have been found unlawful five times by ten judges….. how can these rules still be in force in a country that practices democracy…. not dictatorship. I am so confused and so heartbroken.

Our original hope and plan was to send in our visa applications by mid-July, be on an airplane before September so my children from my previous relationship could start the new school year in their new school in the UK. When we came to the UK in 2005 on a fiancé visa we got our visas in 3 weeks and were on a plane the forth week, my husband was making less money in 2005 than he is now and we managed just fine with no public funding. Our relationship at that time was only seven month old but we got our visa..... now eight years later and we are being kept apart after we thought we were doing the right thing to help our family in the long run. By going to university I would have better opportunity to get a good job in the UK, which only means more taxes collected than if I stayed and was making minimum wages. Again I am so confused by these changes.

These changes in rules affects so many people in so many ways. My children thought they could start school in the UK this autumn, they were set and excited for our family to finally be together. As children they do not understand the reason why they can’t see their step dad - they do not know their own father and think of Craig as the only family they have besides me. The children, all of us really were looking forward to this Christmas as it would be the first Christmas in two years we would be together as a family. My kids do not understand that we just don’t make enough money to be together as a family, even though I tried to teach my children the importance of doing the right thing, the importance of family and the importance of not judging people by what they have or how much money they have......I do not know how to explain it to them in a way that makes sense because this does not make any sense. If we made more money then we would be allowed to be together as a family but because you don’t make enough money even though you work hard and do the right thing you are kept away from your family and the only people that you love? As I mentioned before we are all completely devastated and so hurt right now. Our family is held apart .... no ripped apart right now by these new immigration rules. Crying or Very sad

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Join date : 2012-08-26

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Post  alandamper Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:35 pm

Hi Toni,

Your post highlight's the absurdity of the new rules. On 19th July Theresa May brought a Commons motion asking the 'House' to agree that the new immigration rules already take into account the Article 8 implications. Her aim was to tell the Courts that if someone appeals an immigration decision they should reject any argument on Human Rights because it's already been built in to the rules. Can you see any judge taking any notice of that? As they say, you want us to refuse an appeal on Article 8 you should pass an Act in parliament. Then it's law and we have to use it. But Immigration rules are not primary legislation and they will still rule for their view on Article 8 appeals.

For example, in her speech that day she said....

"Another example might be that of a young married couple who met overseas. The woman subsequently came to the UK to study and they married here. The man is a British citizen who earns just less than the minimum income threshold, and the woman is no longer a student and is not working. The couple are genuine and their relationship is ongoing, and they may still be able to meet the income requirement, but if not, and if there is no evidence of any insurmountable obstacles to their continuing their family life together overseas, we would expect them to do so."

Her speech mixed cases such as this with statements about the Government ensuring that criminals must be denied the right to remain in the UK under Article 8 defences. "Partner = Immigrant = Criminal".

As in your case, the UK based partner may have children from previous marriages or elderly parents requiring daily help. The new rules, without an Article 8 perspective sees it as a straight forward situation. "Not enough income - bu**er off overseas". Your case will still be determined on Article 8 if you take a refusal to appeal. The judiciary don't like being dictated to by a Home Secretary. It's what I will do.


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Post  TLCLM Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:23 am

Thank you alandamper for the insight to this. I was hoping the Article 8 was our "loop hole" but we were saving up to meet with a lawyer. We have received a few "free consults" over the phone and were given quotes for the lawyers to help us so we figured we would have enough saved to meet with a lawyer by January, but also hoping that these new rules would be removed or reversed by then.

I have read so many articles and so many opinions and so many stories of how these rules are illegal and have ruined peoples lives. I have read one story where the British man sounded suicidal, sort of a similar situation to mine they were saving up for his wife and new born to move over to join him. He hadn't scene his baby yet and now with these new rules he may not ever see his baby or wife. What if someone kills themself over the depression and loneliness of being kept away from their loves ones. These rules, May, Green and Cameron are playing with real people, real lives and real relationships, they are not God, they cannot take away British peoples basic human rights. In my opinion if someone did kill themself or worse, that blood shed is on the people that changed these rules and allowed these rules to remain in force.

As you mentioned these rules are just that... rules and not law. No court or no judge would ever rule to take away someone's basic human right's but it is all money and time and that is what can make people desperate. I just hope that someone with a heart and a soul that has power will see that these rules are hurting the wrong people. Yes they need to make changes to the immigration rules, but not to part that is keeping real, honest, hard working families ripped apart. They need to reverse these family changes to the immigration rules immediately, I have read that non-EU spouses account for only 3.3% of total immigration. 3.3%!! For 3.3% the government is willing to rip innocent families apart. Well I could rant and rave on for hours so I will say thank you again and look forward to reading your statements and information you are hsaring on this site. Take care

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Post  Elbe Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:49 am

"if that married couple decide that they can live off of the income that one partner makes that should be their decision not the governments"

I couldn't agree with this more Toni, the government here seems more than happy to ensure people's benefits, pensions and wages are kept to a minimum - we are all well schooled in austerity, and if a couple decides they can support one another it should be no business of the state.

Thanks for sharing your story, I really hope we can overturn these rules as the more I read about other people's situations the angrier and more depressed it makes me. Stay strong.


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Post  TLCLM Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:00 am

May and her gang think they are God and untouchable.....

They have this power because they were voted in so the British voters and people must unite and take their powers away, force an early election.

Now with all these affected student's and families we should have thoudands of people affected, hurt and ready to be heard.

Our cause needs to rally and march, we need to advertise to get attention of all the people that could be lost in depression right now. I know the MRN is organizing something in September, perhaps we could connect with them and use them to get the word out.

I try to stay strong some days I am mad a ready to fight and others, like the yesterday was a bad day and I couldn't look at the computer screen through my tears. As I mentioned previously May and her gang are playing with real people's lives and families and love...... the Charter of Human Rights state they do not have the right to do that.... yet they are?? British people must take away their power to do this

Thank you for your support, you as well keep strong

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